Press release

First co-production feature film from the Wellcome Trust: 'Electricity'

'Electricity', the Wellcome Trust’s first co-production feature film, is released in select cinemas nationally from 12 December, by Soda Pictures. Starring Agyness Deyn as a young woman with temporal lobe epilepsy, the film takes the viewer on a hallucinatory journey as she searches for her lost brother.

Lily O'Connor (Deyn) – brash, sexy, witty – lives on the north-east coast away from the world and her past. But when her mother dies, the past draws Lily back in. When she discovers that her younger brother Mikey, played by Christian Cooke (‘Cemetery Junction’), who looked after her when they were young, disappeared to London years ago, she resolves to try and find him. But the search could kill her. Lily’s epilepsy brings vivid visual distortions, strange auras and terrifying visions that we experience through her eyes. 'Electricity' takes us on a journey that brings Lily to the brink of death before triumph in a beautiful and uplifting story of self-discovery and the human spirit.

With significant input from the Epilepsy Society and Dr Gonzalo Alarcon, Senior Lecturer in Clinical Neurophysiology at King’s College London, the film portrays a truthful reflection of Lily’s experience of her condition – from visual hallucinations to grand mal seizures – and other people’s reactions to it. The Trust has also supported the development of an immersive trailer for the film, which displays its visual effects.

Rachel Hillman, Broadcast, Games and Film Manager at the Wellcome Trust and executive producer of 'Electricity', said: "'Electricity' is a stunning exploration of how health and science can be an integral part of a story without overshadowing the narrative. To create a film that engages so well with the experience of epilepsy, without making a film about epilepsy, is no mean feat. We are delighted with the film, our first co-funded drama feature: it is an outstanding example of our expansion more broadly into the realms of film, drama and games, and we hope there will be many more like it to come."

Damien Hirst has also commented: "Anything done well is art and 'Electricity' is great art. It's a head-opener with a great cast, a brave story and a stellar mind-blowing performance from Agyness Deyn."

Based on the novel by Ray Robinson that the Guardian called "a breath-taking assault on the senses", 'Electricity' combines passionate drama with stunning special effects in a powerfully uplifting love story with a fearless breakthrough performance by Agyness Deyn.

The cast of leading British talent includes Christian Cooke, Paul Anderson ('Heart of the Sea'), Alice Lowe ('Sightseers'), Lenora Crichlow and Tom Georgeson ('Notes on a Scandal').

Directed by BAFTA nominee Bryn Higgins, adapted by BAFTA-winning writer Joe Fisher and with a stunning score by BAFTA winner John Lunn, 'Electricity' is a Stone City Films production.

Bryn Higgins said: “When I read Ray Robinson’s beautiful novel, two things stood out among a rich array. Firstly, the energy and appeal of Lily O’Connor as she spoke straight to you with her brash, funny, endearingly defiant voice. And secondly the extraordinarily visual hallucinations brought on by Lily’s temporal lobe epilepsy and the fact that we experienced these through Lily’s eyes…I thought that 'Electricity' could be a film that took place in two worlds – the ordinary, real world and the extraordinary hallucinatory world of epilepsy – and take us on a journey that would be striking and original.”

UK theatrical release by Soda Pictures on 12 December.